Mental Health Awareness Week: Checking in on You
Hey, are you okay?
This Mental Health Awareness Week, since and amidst the backdrop of lockdowns, social unrest, and general uncertainty, it's crucial we touch base with you. Perhaps, we can also share a few tips to keep your spirits up!
Let's face it - mental health has been a hush-hush topic for too long. How many times have we robotically responded with 'I'm fine' or 'doing well, thanks' to the question 'how are you?', even when our true feelings were far from fine or well?
It's Time to Open Up
I'll be the first to admit that I've grappled with mental health challenges, both recently and in the past. The most transformative step for me? Talking about it. Initially, I was hesitant, fearing judgment or dismissiveness. But when I opened up, I was greeted with nothing but kindness, offers of help, and invitations for heart-to-hearts over coffee.
It's a bit cliché, but it truly felt like a burden had been lifted. So, start a conversation with a friend about your real feelings. That nagging inner critic loses its power when you talk through it. Plus, you never know who else you might be helping by shining a light on these issues. I've become quite the open book, and it's helped others feel less isolated.
Take Time for Yourself
Seriously, do it. We're all guilty of overworking, juggling endless tasks - from beauty appointments to family obligations, business growth, responding to messages, and managing finances. It's overwhelming! But neglecting self-care is a recipe for burnout, which is far more detrimental to your productivity than taking a bit of time each day for yourself. My go-to? A relaxing bath, a good book, and a delicious beverage.
Embrace Positive Affirmations
If you're skeptical about positive affirmations, I get it. But there's something powerful about telling yourself affirmations like 'I'm skilled at what I do. I deserve love and kindness. I am a force to be reckoned with. I look great today. I am worthy of good things.' Being kinder to yourself can make a significant difference. It might feel odd at first, but it becomes more natural over time.
Eat Well and Stay Hydrated
I'm not here to preach about a salad-only diet. Let's be real - sometimes, we're just too drained. The key is to eat enough to maintain your energy and to keep hydrated. Proper nutrition and hydration are vital for mental health.
Discover a Hobby
This might overlap with the above, but it deserves its own spotlight. You might be running a business, caring for a family, or maintaining a home, among other things. But it can't all be about work or daily chores. Find something that relaxes you, whether it's gaming, reading, sudoku, painting, or pilates. Just enjoy some stress-free fun!
Physical activity is a mood booster, thanks to those endorphins. It doesn't have to be a gym session or an intense workout (unless that's your thing). It's just about getting your body moving. Yoga, team sports, jogging, boxing, or a leisurely walk in the park - all of it benefits your mental well-being and helps prevent physical strains from your daily activities.
Remember, it's completely normal and okay to experience a range of emotions - sadness, stress, frustration. Constant positivity can be just as draining. It's okay to have down days. The key is not to let those feelings overwhelm you. If the bad days start outnumbering the good, it's time to reach out and talk.